Trying to cut back on energy costs? Your “money-saving” tricks may actually be costing you more in long haul.
Myth: Programmable Thermostats Save You Money
Well, they do, but only if you program them to do so. Many people mistakenly believe that these computer-chip, electronic devices will automatically set themselves to operate in the most energy-efficient way. But they don’t. You have to program them so that they stop your ducted air conditioning coming on when it isn’t really needed – at night or when you’re at work or on holiday. So read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and learn how to set your thermostat to suit your particular needs – lowering it by just 1°C can reduce your bill by up to 15 percent.
Myth: Fans Cool a Room
Fans do not actually cool the air in a room, they cool the people in it by creating a wind-chill effect on their skin. So there is no point leaving a fan on when you’re no longer in a room. Instead, treat it like a light and turn it off when you leave the room. Otherwise, you will just be wasting electricity and running up a large bill.
Myth: Computer Screensavers Save Energy
All a screensaver does is prolong the life of your monitor by displaying a moving image while you are not using your computer, as any fixed image left on would eventually “burn” itself into the screen, ruining it. Screensavers do nothing whatsoever to save electricity – in fact, they burn up quite a lot. If you want to save energy, without turning your computer off, check if it has a special energy-saving mode: go to your operating system’s control panel or preferences and explore the power-management options available.
Myth: Stand-By Costs Less Than Turning On and Off
This is certainly not true. Leaving a machine constantly in stand-by mode consumes a surprisingly large amount of electricity. If you want to save energy – and money – you should always turn your computer off at night or when you will be away from it for a long period of time. Remember also to switch off other computer hardware, such as scanners, printers and external hard drives and speakers at the mains. If they are powered via a plugged-in transformer, that will remain on even when the power button on the appliance has been switched off.